The top two performers among all US adults, Celine Dion and U2, are both currently active and not in the country genre. However, deceased singer Elvis Presley (who crossed multiple genres) and 1960s rock group The Beatles tied for the third spot. Country performer Tim McGraw was ranked number five, and contemporary pop singer Lady GaGa came in at number six.
The remainder of the top 10 consisted of country performers and a deceased vocalist often considered the best popular singer of all time. Country performers George Strait and Rascal Flatts were ranked numbers seven and eight, respectively. Late crooner Frank Sinatra, whose career spanned the decades from the 1930s to the 1990s, tied country singer Alan Jackson for the ninth spot.
Conservatives Like U2
While U2 lead singer Bono has been an outspoken advocate of many politically progressive and liberal causes, U2 was the favorite performer of conservatives and Republicans. U2 was also favored by men, Generation X (ages 34-45), the West, and households earning $75,000 or more per year.
Celine Dion was preferred by women, married women, moderates, matures (ages 65-plus), the East and South, and households earning $35,000 – $74,900 per year. Single women favored Rascal Flatts.
The only other performer with as broad a reach across different demographics was The Beatles. Independents, liberals, Baby Boomers (ages 46-64), and households earning less than $35,000 per year favored the lads from Liverpool.
Men, Women Split on Movie Stars
Beyond differing in their preferences for musical performers, men and women also have differing preferences for movie stars, according to an earlier Harris Poll. Men preferred tough guy icon Clint Eastwood, who came in at number one overall. However, women preferred heartthrob Johnny Depp, who came in second overall, just behind Eastwood.
About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 1 and 8, 2010 among 2,320 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.